Yet until about a century and a half ago, and even more recently, the children of the wealthy (kings, aristocrats, zamindars, etc.) were frequently educated by private tutors.
Most of the population continued to have no schooling whatsoever until the first few decades of the 19th century when systems of primary schools began to be started in Europe and elsewhere.
To conflict theorists, however, education is a means by which powerful groups prevent change.
Schools stifle individualism and creativity in the name of maintaining order and, thus, the level of change promoted by education is relatively insignificant.
They view education as an instrument of elite domination.
They believe that educational system is used by the elite to maintain their social position.Yet education has also consistently been seen as a means of equalization. Many studies (e.g., Coleman’s Equality of Educational Opportunity, 1966) have been done to answer this question.Its results are clear: ‘education tends to express and reaffirm existing inequalities for more than it acts to change them’ (cited in Giddens, 1997).They teach children elite values and norms so that everyone believes that the position of elites and inequality both are justified.Elite children usually receive higher credentials and move into elite jobs, whereas those from the lower classes do lower jobs, thus preserving class-related inequalities.Not only this, education divides the society into educated and uneducated, and this division has its own repercussion on society.It creates as well as reinforces existing social class inequality.In modem society people not only have to be furnished with basic skills, such as reading, writing and calculating, but they must also have a general knowledge of their physical, social and economic environment.The process of industrialization and expansion of cities served to increase demands for specialized schooling.They also say that education functions not for the good of the society (masses) but for the good of elites (classes).Reformers value education, of course, for its own sake—for the opportunity it provides for individuals to develop their abilities and aptitudes.